REA Group has defied a challenging market to post solid half-year results including revenue of $440.3 million and EBITDA of $272.1m.
Reflect last year’s challenging conditions, national residential listings declined 14 per cent, which included listing declines of 17 per cent in Sydney and 16 per cent in Melbourne. In addition, new project commencements declined 30 per cent over the half-year period.
However, strong cost management and efficiencies gained from an organisational realignment resulted in a four per cent reduction in total operating expenses.
The realignment also increased the speed and efficiency of product delivery across the business, while allowing continued investment in innovation and growth initiatives.
REA Group CEO, Owen Wilson, stated the recent results illustrated the group’s underlying strength during unprecedented market conditions.
“We now have a record number of customers committed to our premium listing products across both buy and rent. Customers see clear value in our product offerings, designed to deliver the highest quality leads to help their businesses grow,” Mr Wilson said.
“We have further consolidated our leadership position across realestate.com.au with record audience engagement and app launches during the half. In this challenging market, our customers and consumers recognise the value of the number one place for property in Australia.
“Pleasingly we continue to see increased buyer activity on our site, up over 30 per cent for the half, while realestate.com.au received a monthly average of 1.5 million visits to the find agents section.
“These numbers, combined with an increase in auction clearance rates, home price gains and increased mortgage activity, indicate the Australian property market is recovering,” Mr Wilson said.
In Australia, REA Group operates realestate.com.au, realcommercial.com.au, and Flatmates.com.au.
Revenue declined 7 per cent to $413.1 million for the half, driven largely by decreases in the residential and developer businesses.
However, REA Group’s flagship site, realestate.com.au continued to outperform the competition remaining the clear number one property platform in the country, with over 8.8 million people visiting realestate.com.au on all platforms each month.
“Our strength is our ability to connect customers with the largest and most engaged audience of property seekers in Australia,” Mr Wilson said.
“Our continued focus on providing consumers with highly personalised experiences is resulting in more people turning to realestate.com.au as their trusted property partner each day.”
Key audience highlights included:
- Over 84 million average monthly visits to realestate.com.au on all platforms – 2.95 times more than its nearest competitor;
- Over 103 million average monthly searches across all realestate.com.au platforms, growing 14 per cent year-on-year;
- The realestate.com.au app was launched more than 34.9 million times each month, growing 28 per cent year-on-year;
- Consumers are spending four times longer on the realestate.com.au app each month than the nearest competitor;
- Total app downloads grew 12 per cent for the calendar year to 9.5 million; and
- Realcommercial.com.au continues to be Australia’s number one commercial property app with 8.4 times more launches than the nearest competitor.
RETURNS TO SHAREHOLDERS MAINTAINED
Announcing the half-year results, the board also confirmed an interim dividend of 55.0 cents per share fully franked, which is consistent with the prior year.